Applying Coach Wooden’s Principles to Social Networking

In General, Strategy on June 12, 2010 at 5:36 am

Coach John Wooden.  Wow, what an incredible man who truly touched people’s lives.  :)

The former UCLA basketball coach and Basketball Hall of Fame member (both as Player & Coach) recently passed away on June 4th at the age of 99.  He will be most remembered for his humanity, the life lessons he shared, and the legacy he left behind.   

Coach Wooden was a wise man who shared the list of  “Seven Things to Do (in life),” which his father gave him when he was young.  Mr. Wooden had told John, “Son, try to live up to these things.”  

We should do our best to do the same in life.  And, these principles happen to fit smoothly into the social networking setting…where it’s all about relationships.

1.  Be True to Yourself – Be the best you, rather than a second-rate version of someone else.  Now, more than ever, it is crucial to your career success to be transparent and authentic online.  Various social networking tools allow you share your knowledge, passions, experience, and personality with others…which accelerates relationships, as well as the buying cycle (know, like, trust, try, buy, refer). 

Tips for being true to yourself, from Coach Wooden:
-Be self aware
-Understand your values
-Be honest with yourself

2. Help Others – Yes!  We’ve all heard “give to receive” and “what goes around comes around.”  And truly, giving is the most ‘selfish’ thing you can do because of how much will come back.  Helping others is exactly what your mission is online (offline too).  

Ways to help others online:
– Share valuable content & tips
– Answer questions
– Connecting others to the right people
– Give aways (free ebooks)
– Refer & promote others 

3. Make Each Day Your Masterpiece – Time is so precious.  To make every day your best day, it is best to plan your days, deciding what’s important, and doing everything to the best of your ability.  Coach warned “never mistake activity for achievement.” 

Ways to create a Masterpiece day, online:
– Plan how much time & what activities (be mindful)
– Share your best content
– Leave meaningful comments
– (see #2)

4. Drink deeply from good books – Absolutely!  Leaders are readers, and readers are leaders, right?  Well, social media allows you to read LOTS of information.  Watch what links/articles people are sharing & read those.  Set up your Google Alerts to get notified when any keyword/phrase gets mentioned in the news, blogs, discussions, etc.  (like a free research assistant).  You can also read LOTS of free e-books & regular books online.

5. Make friendship a fine art – Your family and friends are the key to success in life, and do require work.  Yes, this principle fits like a glove with what social networking (LinkedIn & Facebook especially) is about – communicating with people & building/growing relationships.  Coach Wooden said, “Friendship comes from mutual esteem, respect & devotion.  A sincere liking for all.”   We are all in the H2H business…Human to Human.  Value people.

6. Build a shelter against a rainy day –  Mr. Wooden was talking about the shelter being your health, finances, emotional well-being, and family/friends.  Of course, family & friends would be the top shelter priority.  In the online world, it’s important to have a strong network, so if a rainy day comes (job loss or someone talks negatively about you or your company), you have a group of people who will help and/or defend you (or hand you an umbrella, hehe). 

7.  Pray for guidance and count and give thanks for your blessings every day –  Personally, I’m all about this one!  And, social media wise…guidance can be found within your network & in forming new relationships.  Just post a question on LinkedIn, or in a status update, and within a day you’ll have plenty of advice and tips on that question. 

Finally, we are all so blessed – considering that you obviously have a computer, know how to use it, can read, etc.  And BIGGER yet…I feel blessed with the people who have come into my life via social networking sites.  Amazing how just one person/connection can change your life.  :)  Everyone has had one of those “life changing” people in their life.

Thanks, Coach Wooden. 

“Stay faithful, finish strong.”


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